All posts tagged: food

“Shrimp grits” Congee

My family is Cantonese so I grew up with congee as a go-to comfort food. Congee or “JOOK” (rhymes with book) in Cantonese is long grain rice cooked in plenty of water until it resembles a thick porridge. Also known as rice porridge, it can be served plain or stirred through or loaded with various toppings. Being notoriously squishy and easy to digest, it’s also a common baby food, or food for the sick or elderly. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 100% comfort. I’m more than a little obsessed with American soul food. I don’t know why, but shrimp and grits is a fascination of mine even though I’ve never visited the US. Having eaten shrimp and grits in Wellington recently, I’ve had it in my mind to recreate something similar at home. Shrimp and grits was traditionally a breakfast dish but now eaten at other meal times as well. I present to you: the lovechild of congee and shrimp grits! “Shrimp grits” congee Serves 1 Ingredients 1/2 cup long grain rice, rinsed 4 …

Prawn sushi bowls

I eat in season because I cannot bring myself to pay $9 for an avocado. Avocados are back in season, baby. It’s time to GORGE. This recipe features my current favourite way to eat avocado: Cut in half, flesh scooped out. Topped with a dollop of mayo, a rosette of pickled ginger and a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds. Sushi bowls are great when you don’t want the effort of making sushi. There’s a bit of chopping and slicing involved but that fits in perfectly into the time it takes for your rice to cook. I’m no nutrition expert but eating the rainbow sure is pretty. Makes a great lunch or lighter dinner. Measurements below are rough. Tweak to your own taste, appetite and preferences. I’ve made a quick sushi vinegar rice but you can totally use plain rice, brown rice or black rice. Prawn sushi bowls Makes 2 bowls Ingredients 1 cup raw peeled prawns 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups cooked sushi rice 4 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar 1 perfectly …

Smokey hummus and roast veggie trumpets (and a giveaway)

This post was made possible thanks to the folks at Lisa’s and Farrah’s , who know a thing or two about quick and easy meals. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway. I love hummus. My absolute favourite way to consume chickpeas. Who’s with me? I love hummus slathered, spread, dipped or dolloped. I have absolutely eaten hummus with a spoon. Lisa’s is a beloved name in dips and their latest creation is the new Lisa’s Smokey Hummus. Delicately pair Lisa’s Smokey Hummus with the savoury and sweet flavours of roasted vegetables, honey and miso. I’m so pleased with how these turned out. I tested this recipe out on two hungry men who devoured them with glee. Super easy to assemble, hearty and full of flavour, this recipe is sure to be put on rotation at your house. I’ve used Farrah’s wraps which are generously portioned. My recipe uses one wrap, cut in half and cone folded to form two cute trumpets. You will need a microwave for this recipe meaning …

Chicken and vegetable pie with creamy white wine and tarragon sauce

Hey folks, it’s officially winter in New Zealand. This week we have had bright cold days with beautiful blue skies. Now that we’ve hit the long weekend, the gloom has set in. The rain is relentless today. It’s 9am and as dark as night. We have the lights on, the heater cranking and it is good to be inside. Bring on the comfort food. I’ve been craving pie lately and since leeks are in season (just a dollar each!) I decided to make a chicken and vegetable pie. The creamy white wine and tarragon sauce is stunning. This is a good one to have up your sleeve. This recipe is very forgiving. I’m sorry, the ingredients list looks super long but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand to the equivalent of about 2 litres (an ice cream container) of filling. Some other vegetables that would try are: mushrooms, silverbeet, pumpkin, and celery. Read through the recipe ahead of time, as steps 2, 3 and 4 can be worked on simultaneously. Chicken and …

Chorizo kumara hash

This was brunch this morning. One of those quick scrappy meals using up whatever we had in the fridge at the time. It wasn’t definitely NOT going to be a blog post but The Koala said it looked pretty and convinced me to photograph it. So here it is. 100% could be served for dinner if you enjoy a good breakfast for dinner. For those outside of New Zealand, kumara is the Māori word for sweet potato. Feel free to use sweet potato or a combination of sweet potato and potato. I used fresh chorizo sausages made from free range pork. You can substitute this with any well spiced sausage. Do not substitute with dried or cured chorizo. Chorizo kumara hash Serves 2 Ingredients 2 kumara (sweet potato) 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 fresh chorizo sausages 1/2 an onion, diced 1 garlic clove, chopped 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 handfuls baby spinach To serve: fried eggs and buttered toast Preparation Peel kumara and cut into 2-3cm cubes. Place in a saucepan of boiling water and …

Perfect picnic food with Californian Medjool Dates

This post was made possible thanks to big and juicy Californian Medjool Dates. These whole fruit treats are a natural source of fibre and a wonderful to refined sugar. Available at Huckleberry stores and in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. Scroll down for giveaway details.   We have had a deliciously warm summer in Auckland. Great picnic weather, and typically for Auckland, some not so great picnic weather. To me, perfect picnic food works at ambient temperature and extra points if it can be eaten with hands. I’ve created these Moroccan chicken pies with Californian Medjool Dates to be enjoyed hot or cold. Chicken, dried apricots and Californian Medjool Dates pair beautifully with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices are warming but don’t pack any heat, making them excellent for a range of palates including little ones. The filling can be made ahead of time and the pies filled and baked before you head out. And if you plan on bringing these to your next picnic, place pies a tea …

Celebration Stuffed Chicken Breast

This post was made possible thanks to Freshlife who have two summer hampers to give away. Competition closed. Winners: Congratulations to Kate Rassie and Holly Jay P! You are the winners of the Freshlife Summer hampers. November is my favourite month as it’s my birthday month. Each year, I use my birthday as an excuse to celebrate for at least 2 weeks. In my world, celebrating includes great food and great company. My social life really amps up this time of year, as I get ready for the summer season. Sometime before Christmas are mandatory end-of-year catch ups, often over grazing platters and bottles of whatever you fancy. There will be cheese, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, nuts and various cold cuts. Having a few staples in your pantry is ideal and Freshlife nuts and dried fruit are great to have on hand for those occasions. Cooking at home over summer should be painless, delicious and not too harsh on the wallet. A recipe to celebrate Made with Freshlife’s pistachio kernels, dried cranberries and silver platter …

Taste of Auckland 2017 – food, mostly.

This is not a sponsored post, however the folks at Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux have supplied me with entry tickets. I visited the festival twice and paid my own way inside the festival. Here are my thoughts… Last week I (and thousands of others) celebrated incredible local food at Taste of Auckland. Taste is a four day festival of food and beverage at Western Springs, Auckland. A line up of 10 restaurants, a gourmet hangi, live demonstrations, cooking and master classes, hundreds of food products and samples, it is a wonderland for food lovers of all levels.   This year I was invited to the media opening with refreshments and mingling just before gates opened. A who’s who of chefs, restauranteurs, media and influencers. Disclosure, I’ve recently started freelancing in social media and I wear many hats that often look the same. Regardless, I take photos, I eat, I make content. I only hope to do the food justice! I snapped a pic of my buddy Georgie with her hero, George Calombaris …

Taste of Auckland turns 9! 

I haven’t always been food obsessed. I “got into food” in my mid-twenties and Taste of Auckland was the first food festival I attended. A year before I started this (mostly) food blog, Mum and I bought tickets to the first ever Taste. We checked out a few cooking demonstrations and I tried beef tartare for the first time ever. I took photos for no real reason as I didn’t have social media or a blog. It was casual. Just something to do. Nine years later, as I mentally prepare myself for next week’s festivities, I realise I’m am a die-hard fan girl. I’ve attended 8 years of Taste and I’m going to Taste of Auckland this year too. Twice. It helps that it’s usually around my birthday making my birthday month a bit more wonderful. Well, basically Running four days from 16 to 19 November, the six sessions of Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux is essentially a build-your-own degustation with your choice of fine wine, beer, even cocktails. There are 10 restaurants …

Dan Dan Noodles and a $100 Prezzy Card giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – Made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. They are available at all supermarkets. Dan Dan. Fun to say. Fun to eat. Dan Dan Noodles are a common street food from China’s Sichuan Province which  is also responsible for Kung Pao Chicken and Mapo Tofu. If you know these dishes, you’ll know the fiery, punchy flavour profile of the region. Dan Dan Noodles are egg or wheat noodles served with a meat topping, preserved or pickled vegetables, peanuts or sesame seeds, a sweet sesame soy sauce or soup and of course, Sichuan pepper.  Served from street food peddlers, these noodles are an inexpensive, filling meal with lots of flavour. Spice level varies, but this is more about the satisfying tingle of Sichuan Pepper than the burn of chilli. There are many variations on this dish but those are the key elements. For the sake of research, I’ve eaten a few bowls of Dan Dan Noodles to get a feel for …

Vege Wonton Noodle Soup

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – They are made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. Available at all supermarkets. Do you have a favourite meal? Is it comfort food? I am all about comfort food. As stated on my ABOUT page, wonton noodle soup is my favourite meal. I grew up on wontons and back in the day, I folded many, many wontons for our Chinese take away. Unpretentious. Easy to portion to suit your current appetite. Easy to digest. While I love the Cantonese classic of pork and prawn, I decided it was time to reinvent this old favourite to be vegetarian-friendly. Perfect for spring, this light yet satisfying meal is a hug in a bowl. I make no claims on the authenticity of this recipe. It is fusion at best. Win! MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain noodles come in Chicken or Beef 5 packs, are baked, not fried and are 99% fat free. Thanks to MAGGI’S 2minute Wholegrain Noodles I’m giving away a set of …

Oven baked flounder with tomatoes

If you don’t like eyes looking at you from your plate, then flounder are the worst. I grew up eating yellowbelly flounder. My parents steamed whole fish with fresh ginger and a touch of hot oil and soy, served with rice and a side of greens. Fish doesn’t need much messing around with. While I’m sure not everyone feels the same way, there’s something I find super appealing about fish served whole. Fun fish fact: Flounder are born with an eye on each side but as they develop, one eye grows over to the other side to join the other. Yellowbelly flounder are available year round and I’ve paired them here with tomatoes which also available year round as they are grown in glasshouses. When buying whole fish, Look for bright clear eyes, shiny tight scales and a moist flat tail. A fish with a dry tail is a sad sight. Your flounder will probably be gutted and most places may have scaled your fish, if not ask, for them to be scaled or do …

Pork belly adobo and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot and I am delighted to give away a Crockpot Sear & Slow CHP700 (RRP $299.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Pork belly adobo is comfort food. Adobo is the (unofficial) national dish of the Philippines. A country of 100 million people, inhabiting 7000 islands, you will find many variations, both regional and personal of this delicious Pinoy stew. Some cooks make it with pork, others with chicken, others still with both chicken and pork. Accepted ingredients are soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and bay leaf. With default savoury, sour and sweet notes, variations include the addition of ingredients such as pineapple, coconut milk, potatoes or hard boiled eggs. I’ve added potatoes to my slow cooker adaptation which soak up the sauce and takes on a gorgeous hue. What I love about this dish is that aside from the pork belly, if you cook regularly, you may already have these ingredients at home. The ingredients list feels familiar and not too …

Braised beef noodles (Crockpot recipe)

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Traditional CHP200 (RRP $119.99) just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. I was born in Hong Kong and the Cantonese have a long-standing obsession with food. They love to eat well and they love to eat often. Whenever I visit Hong Kong, my days transition from meal to meal. Almost the entire time is spent eating along with the social fanfare that comes with it. There are many dishes I am inspired by. However, locals typically do not cook at home. After working long hours, grocery shopping, followed by cooking at home is undesirable when eating out is so good and very affordable. Here in New Zealand, not so much. Regularly eating out in NZ is expensive but luckily there are clever ways to cook at home using affordable ingredients which yield maximum flavour. Enter the crockpot Thanks to Crockpot I have created a braised beef noodle recipe inspired by a dish found at Dai Pai Dong …

Bao Chicken Bao Bao

This post was made possible thanks to the Best Burger Truck which is trucking through the North Island giving away Beef & Cheese Sliders and Thai Chicken Sliders made with Best Foods Mayo. I have been enjoying Best Foods Mayo since I was a teenager because it is the creamiest, tastiest mayo. I distinctly remember me and my friends being obsessed with this mayo in high school and I have bought it ever since. One thing I was pleased to learn is Best Foods use 100% cage-free eggs in all their products. Winning! The Best Burger Truck recipes have been created by brand ambassador Jo Wilcox, who has worn many different hats including Chef, Food Editor and Food Stylist. To tuck into on these complimentary sliders, simply turn up at the locations in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington listed below. If you can’t make it to one of these events, make your own sliders at home by following the 5 recipes found here. Best Burger Truck will be in… Auckland Friday 28 April, 5pm-8pm at Basement …